I've heard people say "So! So! So! So! So!" (or possibly "Sou! Sou! Sou!" or maybe using "z" instead of "s" - I'm bad at hearing) when laughing in agreement.

When middle-aged women speak Japanese gives an example of this:

Oishii! (Or any other word from the options supplied below.)
So desu ne!
So so so so so!
So ka!
[continues on - too long for this question]

How is is spelt? Is it the same as the そう that's used in そう です? I tried searching for 然う然う然う然う然う (apparently 然う is a rarer, kanji form according to jisho.org) but couldn't find anything.

  • 2
    – user1016
    Dec 7, 2014 at 14:07

4 Answers 4


It is the そう of そうです yes. That is it. No deep meaning, nothing.

  • 1
    +1 for a "straight to the point" answer. There really is no other meaning behind what the person is saying. Apr 12, 2012 at 12:57
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    -1 because the question was mainly about spelling/orthography of this phrase, and you haven't really touched on it. If this appeared in a book or manga, would it be written そうそうそうそうそう, or would some of the そうs be abbreviated to そ to indicate the fast speed? Would any commas be used? Here is an article which makes a point of writing it as そそそそそ, but I don't know if it's representative of the general approach among most authors. I would like to see a reply which quotes from a book or something.
    – Hyperworm
    Apr 12, 2012 at 13:46
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    I didn't say, and the article doesn't say, that そう can be written そ in general. I was asking whether そうそうそうそうそう can be written そそそそそ (or whether it might have commas etc!) You can't dismiss this just by saying そう is the correct way to spell そう. The phrase 「そっか‥‥‥」 (meaning exactly そうか) exists with that spelling, and doesn't imply that そう can be pronounced or written そっ in other contexts.
    – Hyperworm
    Apr 12, 2012 at 14:01
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    @Hyperworm: I agree with you that this does not answer the question being asked, but the asker accepted this answer, which means that he is satisfied with it. So I am not sure if it is worth arguing whether this answer is appropriate or not. Apr 12, 2012 at 14:45
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    @oldergod Btw is this allowed? : "そうそうそうそう。". Or do we have to put a full stop after every "そう" ?
    – Pacerier
    Apr 15, 2012 at 18:20

This repeated そう are kind of aizuchi 相槌. It might be regarded as a backchannel also. (I'm not a linguistic expert.)

As you may know, native Japanese often use the combinations of verbal and non-verbal backchannels like そうそう/うんうん and nodding during the conversation. This small study shows some numbers.


It is そう and means yes or yeah


"そう、そう、そう" implies strong agreement and affirmation with the remark of the other.

To me, it's very different from simple and curt "そう." She is saying "It's really delicious" and demanding affirmation of the other on her statement and judgement.

We usually and casually say "そう、そう" in agreement, but don't repeat "そう" so many times.

But she repeated it four times. She must have felt it really, really, really, and really delicious.

By the way, we don't apply Kanji character, 然 to そう. 然 is used for the words such as "然しながら" meaning "but, however"、"然く" meaning "like that," and a part of nouns such as 自然、天然、黙然、憤然、歴然、端然、恬然、豁然、公然、昂然、浩然、and etc.

Just for your amusement though I understand it's off-topic, the degree of shock you get every time you fail in the entrance exam of Tokyo University is descibed as;

淡然 in the first challenge

冷然 in the second challenge

凝然 in the thid challenge

唖然  in the fourth challenge.

? in the fifth challenge.

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